Rich Rodriguez: No bye week becoming concern for injury-riddled Wildcats
The last thing Rich Rodriguez and the University of Arizona Wildcats want to do is make excuses.
That being said, it’s easy to see why they might be a little gassed.
The Wildcats drew the Pac 12’s short straw this season — ever other year, a team has to play 12 games straight with no bye week.
“I guess it was Cal two years ago, I don’t know how alphabetically you went backwards,” Rodriguez joked Monday morning on the Doug and Wolf show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
Rodriguez is grateful for the TV money the hectic schedule will provide but with several major injuries this season, including All-American linebacker Scooby Wright, DaVonte Neal, Tellas Jones and Nick Wilson, he’s worried about the exhaustion factor.
“It wouldn’t have been much of a concern earlier in the year had we not gotten guys banged up,” Rodriguez said. “That’s what happens when you try and build depth. At least you can get guys ones and twos and get guys an equal number of reps. But when you’ve got your first, second and sometimes third guy out and all of the sudden, your fourth team guy is playing all your plays, it’s a bit of a challenge.”
Rodriquez and his staff are taking the heavy schedule seriously and scaled back during the week at practice, especially for the players getting a majority of the plays. Their overall goal is to make sure it doesn’t become overwhelming.
“People say ‘It’s just one game’ but these are student athletes and they’ve got things other than football” Rodriguez said. “They don’t have a mental break at all and that’s my concern. I’ve complained about it a bunch and we’re not getting healthier so that’s not helping. We’ve got to figure out a balance of having enough time to get ready and making sure our guys are fresh and ready to play the game.”